Former Marine fired from job for lowering flag on Memorial Day

A former U.S. Marine said Friday he was fired from his contract job with Time Warner Cable in Charlotte after he lowered the American flag to half-staff on Memorial Day.

Allen Thornwell, 29, was thinking about his best friend, a former Marine who he said killed himself two years ago when he returned to the U.S., the Charlotte Observer reported.

The paper reported that Thornwell was fired Tuesday. The service that arranged the job for Thornwell said Time Warner told them they were disturbed by what was termed as “passion for the flag and (his) political affiliation.”

Thornwell said he remains in shock over his firing. Murphy Archibald, Thornwell’s attorney, said his client should have never lost his job.

“It’s disgraceful,” Archibald, who is a Vietnam vet, told the Observer. “He didn’t do anything wrong. He’s a veteran working on Memorial Day who corrected what he thought was a disrespectful flying of the American flag ... I would have taken it down myself.”

Thornwell, who was discharged in 2014, knew the U.S. Flag Code policy which states that the banner should be half-staff until noon on Memorial Day. Thornwell said the incident happened at around 2:30 p.m. He said he wishes now he had permission.

“I didn’t think of it as the property of Time Warner Cable,” he said. “It’s everybody’s flag.”

A Time Warner spokesman confirmed to the Charlotte Observer Friday that the former Marine “was no longer under contract” with the company but declined to provide further comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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